Health

Published on September 12th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Those With Lupus Often Underreport Symptoms

(NAPSI)—There is often a gap between what those with lupus experience and what they tell their doctor. Closing this gap, many believe, may lead to better communication and management.

This is a key finding of a 2014 online survey of 905 total global respondents across the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Brazil. The results showed that of the 200 U.S. patients who took part in the survey, 60 percent reported difficulty describing symptoms to their physician and 77 percent underreported symptoms and therefore the impact of lupus on their lives. This survey was funded and developed by GSK.

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems, including a person’s joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.

Symptoms Underreported

The survey also found that in the U.S., patients underreported the negative impact of lupus on work to physicians when compared to patients’ and caregivers’ actual experiences:

• Nearly two-thirds of patients and caregivers (61 percent) agree that lupus negatively impacted the patient’s career progression. In contrast, physicians only see one-quarter (25 percent) of patients reporting an impact on their career progression.

• Nearly three-quarters of patients (75 percent) and caregivers (72 percent) agree that lupus is a financial burden, yet physicians say about one-third of their patients (34 percent) report this effect to them.

• 62 percent of patients report taking sick days due to their lupus compared to 34 percent of physicians who believe this is true of their patients.

Communication Is Key

Communication between U.S. patients, caregivers and physicians is essential to treating lupus, yet there is also a discrepancy in how often patients and physicians recall interacting with each other.

• 83 percent of physicians report seeing patients every two to three months compared to only 63 percent of patients and 68 percent of caregivers reporting this frequency of consultation.

Need For More Resources

In the U.S., patients, their doctors and caregivers agreed on the need for more resources and a stronger, more connected lupus community, as well as improvements in self-management of lupus and its symptoms and improved communications with their primary physician.

Patients also see conversations with physicians as the second most used resource. Online education materials are the top resource used by patients and caregivers.

The Survey

GfK, a trusted source of relevant market and consumer information, conducted this survey on behalf of GSK. U.S. survey respondents included 200 patients, 100 caregivers and 75 physicians.

For More Information

Patients and caregivers can visit www.usinlupus.com for online support, information and inspiration. For additional facts about lupus, visit the Lupus Foundation of America at www.lupus.org, the Lupus Research Institute at www.lupusresearchinstitute.org and the Alliance for Lupus Research at www.lupusresearch.org. (These websites are external to GSK. GSK does not have control over the content or information provided through these resources, and accordingly does not warrant their accuracy or completeness.)

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